Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 25, 2021

How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

Consider yourself lucky if you can balance being social and spending time by yourself. After all, your parents didn’t intentionally raise you to be a loner, learn to be alone, or take time for you.

If anything, you learned various social skills for your relationships. There may be days when you decide to not answer a text, respond to a phone call and snuggle with your dog on the couch to binge-watch Netflix.

Choosing to retreat gives your friends the impression that you are anti-social, which can bring pressures and difficulties.

In these moments, you learn to be alone.

However, it is harder to learn to be alone in the midst of people you’re supposed to interact with daily. In the mind’s of people, it is the norm for everyone to be socially active; seeking to reach out for various reasons.

When you learn to be alone and be happy about it, another layer of self-care and self-improvement evolves.

You open yourself to better understand new aspects of who you are, which in turn strengthens your relationships.

In reality, adulting comes with tons of responsibilities, constant break-up’s, friendship losses, and social misunderstandings–all of which can be draining.

You can begin to strategize how you will learn to be alone, be happy about it, and keep amazing relationships going without losing unnecessary energy.

Research shows that only 16% of the 82 million Gen Xers in the U.S. have no friends.[1] This doesn’t mean they are loners or uninterested in interacting. These individuals just enjoy time alone every once in a while.

    To learn to be alone is a healthy choice. So, when you do find yourself without company at any time, you won’t view it as a terrible fate, but as moments worth spending time with yourself.

    Is It Healthy To Be Alone?

    Spending quality time with yourself helps you enhance your psychological development, and experience.

    On the flip side, excessively spending time alone can negatively impact your mental and physical health.

    Advertising

    It would keep you at the mercy of your inner critics, lead to depression, painful loneliness, and can ultimately lead to the deterioration of your health.

    Consequently, you have to strike a balance between the two extremes. That said, these are the health benefits of being alone.

    Spending Time Alone with Yourself Increases Productivity.

    How quickly do you get a job done when you have family and friends chatting away around you?

    Your goal may be to complete things around the house, run errands, finish a school assignment, or meet a deadline for work. Even a ping from your phone when a chat or mail comes in can make you lose concentration on a task.

    The brain is naturally programmed to be more productive when there are little to no distractions. So, if you desire to be more productive, spend time alone.

      It Fosters Better Relationships With Others.

      Being an extrovert is amazing. However, sometimes being an introvert is good, too.

      Research has it that introverts are more in touch with themselves, better express self-awareness and empathy. This makes it possible for them to understand individuals around them and better manage relationships.

      What’s more, studies show that relationships thrive when the individuals involved can take a step back and keep a level of independence. When they do reunite, the spark is incredibly amazing and refreshing.

      It Allows You To Revitalize Your Mind.

      Being the life of occasions and mingling with friends can be fun, and can help with some aspects of brain activity.

      Advertising

      However, what happens when your brain begins to lose creativity or, starts to yearn for some break away from the hype and action of your social life?

      In such times, being alone would be healthy. Spending some time alone with yourself helps your mind to process previous activities, unwind, and recharge.

      Additionally, when your brain is relaxed, a lot of things would begin to make sense and come together beautifully.

      It Boosts Your Creativity.

      The mind comes up with the best ideas when it is left alone in perfect solitude. It generates amazing plans, weighs the pros against the cons, and just creates beautiful creative stories.

      So, when you feel the pressure to be creative, and you can’t deal with the noise of brainstorming, you can simply separate yourself from the crowd, and give your mind some time to think and come up with a great idea.

      10 Ways to Learn to Be Alone and Happy

      Here are some steps you can take to learn to be alone and be happy about it.

      1. Be Your Primary Source of Validation

      Having friends and family call and show you major attention sure feels great. However, what happens when they are caught up with other things and don’t have that much time to text or call?

      In such times, getting disappointed about not being contacted won’t help you, and sure would tell that you are far from being your source of validation.

      So, what you can do is to deliberately train yourself to get used to the absence of people.

      Take some time off from the noise of social life, and indulge in your hobbies like reading, writing, or seeing some great movies on Netflix.

      What’s more, you can try meditating or yoga. This would clear your mind, and keep you in tune with yourself.

      2. Learn to Feel And Be Self-Aware

      So, first off, you can take a person out of psychology, but you can’t take psychology out of a person. This means that the person that can reach into your emotions, and channel those emotions so you can be happy, alone and single, is you.

      Learn to spend time with yourself, practice self-awareness, and keep in touch with your feelings. That way, you will truly be happy. Identify your goals, dreams, and setbacks. Know the things that make you tick, and do those things.

      3. Spend Some Time with Nature

      There’s nothing quite as soothing as bonding with nature. You can simply spend time in a garden, where you can watch the flowers bloom with your favorite book in hand.

      Advertising

      Or you can listen to the chirping of the birds, lie under the skies, and watch the shapes of the clouds and the brightness of the stars, and fall in love with yourself all over again.

      If you have some energy and stamina in you, and you are a lover of outdoor activities like hiking, then put on those hiking boots, grab your backpack, and head to the nearest mountain around you.

      4. Work on Your Self-Improvement

      Remember those amazing self-improvement things that you have on your bucket list, but have somehow managed to miss doing them?

      Bring those goals into actualization. You can create some alone time and work on them.

      Learn to play that musical equipment, author that book, strategize on how you will start that company, learn a new skill, or a new language.

      Just improve yourself: 42 Practical Ways To Improve Yourself

      5. Deliberately Ease into the Pleasure of Relaxation

      The moment you go for a massage, treat yourself to a bubble bath with red wine in hand or stay home to watch Netflix with popcorn.

      Then you will begin to love spending time by yourself. The cares of the world would be non-existent for that duration.

      6. Take a Trip to a Dream Location Alone

      You might ask yourself where the fun is in traveling alone. Be that as it may if you can get beyond the feeling of weirdness that accompanies taking a trip by yourself, just do it.

      Just pack up your bags, and visit that location that you heard is a tourist attraction, or simply go for a weekend getaway in an amazing resort.

      Then in no time, you will begin to feel the hang of being alone and happy.

      7. Step Out to Town Alone

      Perhaps you thought that to learn to be alone means camping at home and shutting the world out. However, that’s not the case.

      You can indeed have beautiful time with yourself by going out to town to do activities like reading in a park, grabbing a coffee, and going to the seaside where you can feel the wind on your face, watch the sea waves come and go, and just gather your thoughts.

      8. Stay Away from Your Phone

      If you’re going to learn to be alone, then you might as well go all the way. This would mean staying away from your phone and the distractions that come with it.

      Advertising

      When the phone is out of the way, you can do whatever you desire, such as snack away on whatever you crave for, or jam to your best music.

      9. Feel Free to Be Weird

      Okay, you might think that you’re an adult, so you just can’t go about being weird.

      In truth, who cares? Being grown does not stop you from playing your favorite song at home and dancing to it in your underwear, or bingeing on your favorite ice-cream or meal.

      Nothing stops you from doing crazy activities like sky diving, that will send some adrenaline shooting through your body.

      And nothing stops you from participating in karaoke, even when you don’t have a voice worthy of applause. The main thing is to be weird and to own your weirdness.

        10. Guiltlessly Make Mistakes, And Own Them

        At this point in your life, you should understand that making mistakes is part of the cycle of life.

        I’m not saying that you should go about being the king or queen of errors. Rather, you should not beat up yourself when you unknowingly make a wrong move or a wrong decision.

        In essence, own your mistakes, learn from them, and move on feeling better, and stronger.

        Final Thoughts

        Finally, the one thing you should convince yourself of is that, it is normal for you to live your life the way you have chosen.

        There is no need trying to convince anyone that what you are doing is in the right interest of you. There is no need working yourself up to prove to anyone that choosing to learn to be alone is right for you.

        You have decided to be happy and have found the best way to be healthy.

        Instead of getting heartaches from your relationships, you have decided to sideline yourself and you are doing just fine.

        Laugh. Live. Be happy alone. You’ll soon discover that this is the greatest decision ever.

        Advertising

        More About Being Alone and Happy

        Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

        Reference

        More by this author

        Jacqueline T. Hill

        Writing, Blogging, and Educating To Guide Others Into Happiness

        20 Invaluable Things Money Can’t Buy 23 Self-Care Ideas For Women To Rewind 14 Reasons To Always Try New Things in Life How To Not Stress: 10 Stress Management Techniques How to Learn to Be Alone and Happy About It

        Trending in Happiness

        1 I Want To Be Happy: 7 Science-Backed Ways to Find Happiness 2 13 Ways Happy People Think and Feel Differently 3 10 Morning Habits Of Happy People 4 What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People 5 13 Simple Habits of Happiness To Change Your Outlook on Life

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on July 20, 2021

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

        You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

        Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

        Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

        Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

        1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

        According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

        “Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

        Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

        Warming up

        If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

        If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

        Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

        Advertising

        1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
        2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
        3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

        Stay hydrated

        Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

        To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

        Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

        Meditate

        Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

        Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

        Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

        Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

        2. Focus on your goal

        One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

        Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

        Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

        Advertising

        Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

        If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

        3. Convert negativity to positivity

        There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

        ‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

        It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

        Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

        Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

        Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

        4. Understand your content

        Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

        Advertising

        However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

        “No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

        Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

        Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

        One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

        5. Practice makes perfect

        Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

        In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

        Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

        6. Be authentic

        There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

        Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

        Advertising

        Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

        To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

        With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

        Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

        7. Post speech evaluation

        Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

        Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

        We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

        You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

        Improve your next speech

        As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

        Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

        Advertising

        • How did I do?
        • Are there any areas for improvement?
        • Did I sound or look stressed?
        • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
        • Was I saying “um” too often?
        • How was the flow of the speech?

        Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

        If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

        Reference

        Read Next